LODI (CBS13) — A Lodi big rig truck driver walked away from a scary crash caught on video in a Caltrans work zone on State Route 175 in Mendocino County Thursday.
Cameras caught the giant truck sliding down an embankment from a tight bend in the roadway, it’s rear axle first, then it’s cab dragged behind it.
Lodi’s Chris Cortez was inside that cab.
“I’m a walking miracle,” Cortez said. “It all happened so quick. I closed my eyes and held on until I stopped moving. When I opened my eyes I saw sparks.”
He explained how he was able to escape the cab.
“I twisted myself out of the seatbelt, pressed the red button, and got out,” he said.
CBS13 spoke to Cortez’s sister as she watched the heart-pounding video for the first time.
“I’m nervous, I’m worried, I want to talk to him,” Crystal Cortez said.
She says her brother had posted a message on social media — referencing how lucky he was — but he hadn’t said why.
The truck is still sitting 100 feet down the hillside.
The CHP cited Cortez for driving on a roadway where signs were posted restricting vehicles over 39-feet in length.
“He stated that he saw a few of them,” CHP Sergeant Robert Powers said. “He said he would try to work his luck and see what he could do with it.”
The Lodi driver was lucky to survive in one piece. His big rig did not share in his fortune.
The CHP is still investigating the crash.